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Commentary

Grasping At 3G iPhone Rumor Straws

Turns out, people are sort of desperate for news about the 3G iPhone. So desperate, in fact, that they are willing to infer just about anything. Take the latest 3G iPhone reports. Apparently, Apple has received 188 containers of something at a North American port. These particular containers are of interest because they are unlabeled ... and Apple's containers are usually labeled.
Turns out, people are sort of desperate for news about the 3G iPhone. So desperate, in fact, that they are willing to infer just about anything. Take the latest 3G iPhone reports. Apparently, Apple has received 188 containers of something at a North American port. These particular containers are of interest because they are unlabeled ... and Apple's containers are usually labeled.There's a Web site called ImportGenius.com. It monitors the stuff that arrives at U.S. ports from foreign shores. It has its own little system figured out to help it determine what is contained in the cargo containers being pulled off ocean liners.

It reports that, since March, Apple has imported "188 ocean containers of a product type never before declared on its shipping manifests."

Apple usually calls containers full of its computers something descriptive like "desktop computers" or "laptop computers." These particular containers are labeled "electric computers." Apple has never used this terminology before. I would have to say this is a pretty vague description, seeing as almost all "computers" these days use some form of electricity to perform calculations.

At this point, we've all seen the reports of dwindling iPhone stocks, and the predictions about what will be announced on June 9 at the Apple WWDC. It isn't a stretch to conclude that these containers do indeed contain the 3G iPhone.

ImportGenius goes on to report, "data from U.S. customs records now seem to confirm this prediction, according to ImportGenius.com. By analyzing thousands of U.S. customs records for Apple Computer, employees of the search engine for container shipment data identified a major spike in imports generated by a new product type."

ImportGenius' Ryan Peterson said, "They have never before reported this product on their customs declarations. The fact that they are importing millions of units, combined with dwindling stocks of the first generation of iPhones, clearly supports ... analysts' predictions."

I don't know if it is as clear-cut as Peterson claims, but it's not an unrealistic assumption to make.